Friday, July 25, 2008

The Personal Statement

Writing the personal statement is for many students the most tedious part of the residency application. Having just recently completed mine, I can attest to that. The hardest part I think is getting an idea and then knowing how to format it appropriately. While there are many resources on the web, I found this article on the AMA site helpful:

Some helpful suggestions in getting started:
1. Go back to your medical school application essay. Some students find it useful to look at that as a basis for their residency statement. Specifically the introductory and final paragraphs.
2. Find out if your school has a writing office, which can help you with your statement.
3. Use a theme to structure your essay. This helps unite all aspects of your statement.
4. Provide concrete examples that pertain to your life, goals and experiences.
5. Be concise. Refrain from using a lot of unnecessary words.
6. Begin your essay with an attention grabber: a quote, a story, an anecdote, or a riddle.
7. Finish your essay with a conclusion that refers back to the beginning of your statement and restates the theme.
8. Have your departmental program director evaluate/critique your statement. Remember they have probably seen thousands of essays and is most likely the best authority at your institution to evaluate your work.
9. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch if your essay is not working.
10. Do write about what interests you, excites you. Your reader wants to hear a positive essay not a negative one about the profession.
Keep reading to learn more about the statement, as well as read a sample personal statement.

Updated 2015-12-13

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